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Lessons on Leadership Learned at the Kitchen Table

Apr 18, 2021

Have you ever had a moment with someone where they shared a part of their history that you never knew?

We meet people. We become acquaintances. Sometimes friends. And sometimes we develop an amazing relationship over a period of time. We know them. We know their stories and we think we know every detail about them. Then one day, the drop a story on you that you never knew. And it all makes sense.

As an author of leadership books, I have the joy of interviewing those who have currently and previously held leadership positions.

I research their history and get a sense of their experience, yet I always anticipate the interview. The interview is where the most amazing stories emerge of life, lessons, and leadership - the stories of families, joy, tragedy, failure, and ultimately success.

It is easy to view leaders as these incredible human beings who look like they have the most astonishing intelligence, the best education, great passion and drive, and some incredible situational luck. And some or all of that may be true. The truth is that all of us have experienced life events that have formed our values and our views of life and leadership.

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend time with a leader who had crafted some of the most significant economic impacting deals in his industries history. The capability and influence he held were respected, admired, and trusted. Naturally, I wanted to learn more about how he came to be such an influential leader.

It all started sitting at the kitchen table with his dad.

Growing up in a West Virginia mining town was not the easiest life, yet it was a close-knit community where everyone knew they depended on each other for their lives. The work was challenging, and the leadership lessons continuous. At the kitchen table, his dad imparted the essence of leading and the knowledge of influence. This leader learned the lessons of leadership that he carried over to his work, developing business deals that impacted industries.

Life lessons from our childhood and through adulthood impact who we are as leaders and how we lead. The foundations of those lessons are built upon each experience and educational opportunity. The lessons we learned on the playground, in the classroom, at the ballpark, or from our dad at the kitchen table have formed us as leaders.

Those lessons were simple.

Take a turn.

Let others play.

Be a good team player.

Be a gracious winner.

Listen to the coach.

Say Thank You often.

Do your best.

Have fun.

All powerful leadership principles. Which one have you lost sight of? Which principle would connect you with your team?

Pick one that connects to your heart as a leader and bring it to life today!

Don't miss a beat!

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